Pidgin English started when workers from differnt countries and languages needed to communicate with one another. Certain words from each language were used more often and became understood by everyone. Here is a list of the more common words used in the plantation and what country they came from. Many of the words are still used in our language today. Since Hawaiian is the native language, most of the words used were Hawaiian. The first word list below is Hawaiian. Different ethnic words were used in the same sentence to form Pidgin English.
Ahina (H) - Blue denim dungarees
Ha'alele Hana (H) - To desert or break contract
Hana Hana (H) - To work, or to go to work
Hana Pa'a (H) - To close, secure, fasten. Usually referring to closing off
of the water during irrigation
Hana Wai (H) - The job of irrigating the fields
Haole (H) - Foreigner, usually a caucasian
Hapa (H) - Half. Person of mixed ancestry
Hapai (H) - To carry, lift, elevate
Hapai Ko (H) - Field work requirring the carrying of the harvested
sugar cane (ko) into the cane car
Hemo (H) - To remove
Hole Hole (H) - The job of stripping the cane stalk of it's leaves
Holo Holo (H) - To go out for pleasure
Huki (H) - To pull
Kanaka (H) - Hawaiian
Kapakahi (H) - Crooked or lopsided
Kapu (H) - Forbidden or reserved
Kau Kau (H) - To eat. From the Hawaiian pronunciation of the
Chinese word "chow chow"
Kokua (H) - To help, assitst, support
Kuku (H) - Thorns
Kukui Hele Po (H) - Kerosene lantern. Literlly, "the light to go at night
Luna (H) - Boss, supervisor, oversees
Molowa (H) - Lazy
Opae (H) - Small fresh or dried fish
Opala (H) - Rubbish, trash
Pake (H) - Chinese. Perhaps deriving from "Cathay"
Palaka (H) - Heavy block print cloth
Pau Hana (H) - End of working day, "Pau hana time." Finish working.
Pilau (H) - Dirty, filthy
Pilikia (H) - Trouble
Poho (H) - Wasted, waste of time, no good
Pulapula (H) - Seedlings, cuttings of sugar cane
Sabe (H) - Understand savvy. From the Spanish
Bango (J) - Identification badge assigned to a plantation worker.
refers to the number on the badge. From the Japanese
word for "number"
Bento (J) - Lunch or lunch box
Furo (J) - Bath and/ or bath tub
Mochi (J) - Rice cake usually made as a symbol of good luck on New Year's Day
Tabi (J) - Sock-like protective foot covering
Tanomoshi (J) - A multual financing arrangement among relatives and friends.
Tofu (J) - Bean curd made into square blocks for food
Tsukemono (J) - Pickeled vegetables
Calaboose (F) - Jail
Kampo (F) - Camp or village
Karabaw (F) - Water buffalo. Also spelled "Carabao"
Kompang (F) - To cooperate, to share, to do together
Sabidong (F) - Poison
Bakalao (Port) - Dried Codfish
Bumbai (P) - Sometimes "bimeby" meaning "later on." From the English phrase, "by- by"
Hoe Hana (P) - Field work using the hoe, usually to cut weeds
Kau Kau Tin (P) - Multi-layered lunch can
Dis and Dat (P)- this and that. "Dis one ovahea". This is the one over here.